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Poster: Liamfinnegan Date: Oct 28, 2006 5:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Tales from the Crypt XXXCMVIII -Cliff Notes

Or- "get to the point Liam- Remember we are in the short attention span theater"

Some smart dude with a doctorate in an esoteric divison of sociology says that there is a reason why the GD played certain songs in the first set and certain songs in the 2nd set- he ties this in to the way Robert Hunter writes lyrics.

First set songs are typically not allegories- they are stories about gamblers, boozers, and never do-gooders- and they typically have a straight forward story and a definite conclusion- death, going back to TN, adultery, etc. There is not much room for jammng there as Hunter is being straight forward on purpose.

Now second set songs are quite different- many times the lyrics are cryptical- pun intended- and non-sensical- sometimes even self-contradictory as in Eyes of the World- it is the vagueness and non-completeness of the lyrics that allows the jamming to take center stage- The songs, unlike the first set, do not have linear story lines- and are more metaphysically challenging.

Lastly the smart dude tells us Dark Star is the quintessential dead song.

So- do you all agree about this?

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Oct 28, 2006 6:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tales from the Crypt XXXCMVIII -Cliff Notes

Ahem, uhh, well, apart from the fact that i don't as a habit academicize my music, and couldn't care less what some pseudo-intellectual like Jurgen Fauth thinks of the GD, or anything for that matter. I mean, really, isn't he just a hack for Hollywood and its variant offshoots? That tells me everything, and i'll leave it there.

As for your not-so-subtle, negatively-directed barb in the matter of the attention span of the fine folks here on the gd forum, well, this has been your default MO in past, hasn't it Liam?

I think Purple Gel has made an eloquent case for why it's rather futile an attempt to pigeon-hole deadheads, or the GD experience.

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Poster: Liamfinnegan Date: Oct 28, 2006 8:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tales from the Crypt XXXCMVIII -Cliff Notes


First- I was not disparaging the board or its fine writers or lurkers- I simply saw that the post had under 100 page views compared to the usual 175-250-

This suggested to me that what was pasted in was too long. Short attention span theater could certainly be taken as a negative- but it was totally tongue in cheek- none of us have much free time- and our attention spans are short not by choice, but because so many things are vying for our attention- we are bombarded via multiple marketing channels- our kids need our help or our spouse needs our time- we as a society have never had to sort out so much stimuli as we do now-

Therefore the use of the phrase was a comment on our society and our way of life- IN NO WAY AT ALL was it meant to suggest that those who would not read all the way through it were deficient in some way. I genuinely wanted to shorten it as I was tickled by the coincidence of coming across the article and how it tied in to several threads- synchronicities like this are not unplanned- at least that is what the author of The Celestine Prophecy books would say

I was already on record with my thoughts about quintessentialness of dead songs- and my last post on the matter suggested there could be a half dozen categories or more of dead songs- all of which could evoke in any given listener the essence of the dead experience- that is why McGLone, I think, had the only right answer- all of them.

To summarize- my question in this thread was posed more as a challenge to disagree with the author and not at all as a solicitation to agree with the writer-

Of course no one can encapsulate what made the dead the dead in simple phrases or song choices- and it is absurd to apply semotics to dead concerts- sounds to me like the writer was just burning through some grant money.

Judge my whole body of work here if you must judge- and hold your opinion of me close to your heart- it is merely another part of me talking to me- you are a "person", yes- we here are all "people"- but we are not disconnected- it took all of us and the band members to make this miracle happen for so many years- the collective deadhead mind if you will-

In almost two years I called out a half dozen people- so that makes me someone who dislikes or demeans everyone here? Who started the post for lurkers to check in? I think that was me. Who brings back classic threads from the past for the benefit of newbies?

React with a kneejerk if you must- but I am talking to all the lurkers here now- our friend here is not correct about me- He does not understand my home grown sarcasm- that's fine- the english language is not the best in the world or the most efficient- hence misunderstanding and misinterpretation are the rule rather than the exception.

I accept that. But as I have said before- and I will continue to say it- I will respond quickly and assertively when someone suggests I am demeaning the community-

Frankly, it is patently absurd to suggest, based on the whole body of my work here, that I feel the community as somehow less than me or below me. The vast majority of my posts have been positive, contructive, thought provoking, and never boring.

So A.- thanks for the feedback- Purple- thanks for all your contributions all times- read the original post again in light of my response here- and you will easily see how an alternate meaning could be taken from my words-

I love all of you- everyone of you- if I did not, I would not be loving me. If I insult you in any way it is unavoidable for me not to insult myself.

We are truly one. "You are the eyes of the world"- in my opinion the "you" in this lyric is the collective, rhetorical "you"- I do not think the song exhorts the individual- I am not waking up to find out that I am the eyes of the world

We are.

This post was modified by Liamfinnegan on 2006-10-29 03:08:39

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Oct 29, 2006 10:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tales from the Crypt XXXCMVIII -Cliff Notes

Well said Liam, well said.

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Oct 29, 2006 10:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tales from the Crypt XXXCMVIII -Cliff Notes

"it is the vagueness and non-completeness of the lyrics that allows the jamming to take center stage"

what about the capabilities of the musicians, chord progressions, rhythms, band chemistry...???

the lyrics may or may not have had influence on the compositions and other cosiderations, but are none the less of little significance as far as the jamming is concerned

if not then how is it that i have witnessed "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Around The Old Oak Tree" jammed out on a level of "A Love Supreme"?

This post was modified by midnight sun on 2006-10-29 18:27:48

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Poster: Spaced Date: Oct 31, 2006 2:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tales from the Crypt XXXCMVIII -Cliff Notes

Jam songs don't seem to have as much in the way of lyrics--the exposition is done in the music.

There's also the matter of the trip itself changing. Early on there were big jams in a first set, later jams spread out and interspersed with songs (lots of them), and then settling into the formula.

I'm interested in why this happened: Mickey's influence, acid v. heroin, changing of the guard, even new instruments. Since I'm an 80s creature, I tried to make sure the peak of the hero's journey was before space. Has anyone written about this?

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Poster: smgarcia Date: Oct 28, 2006 7:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tales from the Crypt XXXCMVIII -Cliff Notes

Did Robert Hunter decide what songs are first setters and second setters? I think not - countless number of songs were played in both sets during their life, only to generally settle into one category. I do agree that there are specific musical themes in the first set (little jamming, if there was jamming it ended the first set, like with Playin' In The Band, Let It Grow). Second set songs generally do not have a defined beginning and ending.

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Poster: high flow Date: Oct 29, 2006 8:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tales from the Crypt XXXCMVIII -Cliff Notes

Liam - Post your thoughts. If people respond great! Don't get too hung-up on forum statistics! If your topic had fewer reads/replys, it probably was not up to snuff with your usual masterpieces...

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Oct 28, 2006 7:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tales from the Crypt XXXCMVIII -Cliff Notes

i think that anyone trying to sum up anything as complex as the Grateful dead or their shows is on a fool's errand, so here I go....LOL

I think that the author's theories are fairly simplistic, and off the mark. Of course, he wasn't writing a book, just an article so he could not afford to delve too deeply. I also believe that his basic premise may be faulty, that show structures had more to do with lyrical content than anything else. Without getting into another long dissertation, I always felt that the set structures had more to do with the musical structure of the songs than their actual lyrical content. This is a general analysis from my point of view.
Here's the recipe:

Generally shorter, more formulaic songs, often with a country/folk sensibility about them. As the set progresses we get some more musically complex tunes.

Set 2:
A) a little more complex: Often kicking off as an extension of set 1, or a transition between the end of set 1 to the exploratory stage of set 2 (sometimes the set starts right into the Exploratory section).

B) The jam section: typically 2-3 songs with less musical structure and more opportunities for longer extended jamming followed of course by Drums and an opportunity for structureless jamming known as space.

C) The wind down: typically 3-4 songs featuring one ballad and 2-3 upbeat longer dancing tunes to get the crowd's blodd flowing again and end on an up note.

Now here's the most important step in cooking up a Grateful Dead show.....

Take all these generalities and mix them up or toss them out the window occassionally and you have your typical Dead show.

As far as the quintessential Song, there was an extended discussion of that a few days ago and I believe the conclusion has to be was that there are many such songs and not just one or 2. I saw everything from FOTD to BE Women to Dark Star, Playin, Terrapin, Other One and everything in between, and as with most things Dead related, each individual has their own way of relating to the band and experience and thus comes at this question from a unique perspective.

This post was modified by Purple Gel on 2006-10-29 02:17:46